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House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street | [William Cohan]

House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street

In March 2008, Bear Stearns, a swashbuckling 84-year-old financial institution, was forced to sell itself to JPMorgan Chase for an outrageously low price in a deal brokered by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who was desperately trying to prevent the impending catastrophic market crash. But mere months before, an industry-wide boom had "the Bear" clocking a record high stock price. How did a giant investment bank with $18 billion in cash on hand disappear in a mere 10 days?
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Publisher's Summary

In March 2008, Bear Stearns, a swashbuckling 84-year-old financial institution, was forced to sell itself to JPMorgan Chase for an outrageously low price in a deal brokered by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who was desperately trying to prevent an impending catastrophic market crash. But mere months before, an industry-wide boom had "the Bear" clocking a record high stock price. How did a giant investment bank with $18 billion in cash on hand disappear in a mere 10 days?

In this tour de force, Cohan provides a minute-by-minute account of the events that brought America's second Gilded Age to an end. Filled with intimate portraits of the major players, high-end gossip, and smart financial analysis, House of Cards recounts in delicious narrative form the dramatic events behind the fall of Bear Stearns and what it revealed about the financial world's progression from irrational boom to cataclysmic bust. House of Cards is the Rosetta Stone for understanding the dramatic and the unprecedented events that have reshaped Wall Street and global finance in the past two years.

©2009 William D. Cohan; (P)2009 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (373 )
5 star
 (123)
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3.9 (128 )
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4.1 (127 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lynn 02-16-12
    Lynn 02-16-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    742
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    "True (White Collar) Crime"

    William Cohan in House of Cards tells the sordid tale of the fall of Bear Stearns during the economic disaster of 2008-2009. One of the world’s oldest and largest investment banks went belly-up in a matter of days and Cohan spares the reader no details. This book is an autopsy, a crime scene investigation, an analysis of greed and simple stupidity. The book might run a little long for some (468 pages) and contain more detail than others might prefer. It is an eye-opener though worthy of every citizen who wants to be informed about the caliber of people who ran one of the premier investment banks in the world. Goodness! The reading of Alan Sklar is excellent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geraldine Palmdale, CA, United States 03-28-10
    Geraldine Palmdale, CA, United States 03-28-10

    A book lover with varied interests: history, political and technical and economic thrillers, mysteries, crime dramas, futuristic fantasy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Financial Thriller"

    House of Cards was a fabulous read. It was informative and entertaining -- a swashbuckler of sorts. Though I am not a financial professional, I was able to keep up with the jargon. (I did think though that the printed book would probably have had an index.) The book gave some insight into the workings of investment banks, their products, and the disastrous impact of the subprime mortgages and the housing bubble on those banks. Narrator Alan Sklar captured the excitement of the period. I am recommending the book to those interested in the subject.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Findlay, OH, United States 01-17-10
    Jim Findlay, OH, United States 01-17-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "House of cards"

    Very good book on the recent financial mess. the book goes into great detail. if you are interested in understanding the players and what REALLY happened, listen to this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlie newark, CA, USA 08-27-09
    Charlie newark, CA, USA 08-27-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting"

    Interesting but dragged on too long. It was also very technical so if you don't have a business background, this one will put you to sleep.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Morgantown, WV, USA 07-10-09
    Kenneth Morgantown, WV, USA 07-10-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting and easy listen"

    It was hard to turn off as I listened in my car on long trips. Well worth the time. Explains how smart people can be so smart they fail to check on the details. Definitely recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Babiak 05-05-09

    tonyvm

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wall Street exciting?"

    Very readable and understandable chronicle of Bear Sterns and the rest of Wall Street's effect on credit and the economy.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gustavo B. Sisti Sao Paulo - Brazil 01-31-15
    Gustavo B. Sisti Sao Paulo - Brazil 01-31-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Very detailed. Very deep. Amazing."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I recomend just to someone that is very very interested in the Bear Stearns history.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bassam 02-27-14
    Bassam 02-27-14
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    "Another superb product from the Master"

    Yet another great product from the master of current Wall Street biographer/historian. Mr. Cohan never fails to make the absurd and menial sound so entertaining and absorbing. This one topped the Lazzard saga. I resolved to buying a print edition for keep. Mr. Sklar is absolutely superb in his tone and delivery. I can see Jimmi and Ace talking directly to me. Can't wait for the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randy Delray Beach, FL, United States 07-15-12
    Randy Delray Beach, FL, United States 07-15-12 Member Since 2011
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    "One of my favorite audiobooks"

    I could not stop listening to the book. In my car, at home, it didn't matter. Great story of a very tumultuous time in US History.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan San Diego, CA, United States 12-22-11
    Bryan San Diego, CA, United States 12-22-11 Member Since 2011

    I've been listening to audio books for well over twenty years (even before audible was available). Secretly, I wish I could be a narrator.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting but Unentertaining"

    Not the best book to listen to. The author was too verbose and didn't keep the story moving along. I found myself fast forwarding just to get to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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